Thursday, October 05, 2006

Character Depth – Lorraine Will

Aww… from Miriam:

A Love Song for Bobby Long is full of interesting characters with layers of contrasting personality. Bobby, Lawson, and Pursline are all interesting, but the most fully realized character in this movie is somebody who never appears on screen, in pictures, or in voice-over – Lorraine Will. Talk about contrasts. Lorraine emerges as a vibrant life-force even though she is dead before the movie starts. She emerges out of an old playbill, a suitcase full of books, a few dresses handed down to Pursy, a handful of letters that she never mailed, and some sheet music. The rest of her character is drawn from the memories of those who knew and loved her.

Pursy seems to think that her mother was a bed-hopper, and certainly any woman who is an addict, and who hangs out with men who are also addicts could be seen as just a pass-around gal. But they all speak about Lorraine with something close to reverence. They bashfully drop their eyes in the presence of her daughter or hand her a flower for remembrance. Lorraine might have slept with them all, or she may have kept some of them at friend's length, but she managed to make all of them feel as if they had shared something intimate with her.

Lorraine was a desperately troubled woman. She couldn't reconcile any one facet of her personality with the rest. She was an addict and a singer. She was a poet and a musician. And she was mother to a child she barely knew and who barely knew her. She couldn't keep her own life together, but she was the glue that held a group of men together. Everybody has both a devil and an angel within, and the angel doesn't shine unless the devil is there like a shadow to cast some depth.


Mystery Man said...

"She couldn't keep her own life together, but she was the glue that held a group of men together..."

Very touching, Miriam.

GameArs said...

I have not seen this film and you make it sound so tasty! I'll have to check Netflix and look into it. I am totally watching movies with these character traits in mind now, sometimes to the point where I'm not paying attention to the darn film!!!

Miriam said...

The movie itself is a tribute to several Southern writers without being derivative. I recognized Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers, but I'm not familiar enough with literature from the South to recognize any others.

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